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On track for training Many spouses and partners find themselves considering starting or changing their career path. AFF Employment & Training Specialist Laura Lewin offers advice on training courses…


FREQUENTLY receive enquiries about access to training or education and our evidence demonstrates that you can face many barriers, including funding, mobility, overseas postings and limited childcare support from your soldier and family members.


It’s sensible to note your current

Nicola Wright Course: Access to Higher Education


I’ve been married to Terry for 15 years and we have two children, Jessica and Jamie.

Reason for choosing this course:

I was fascinated with midwifery after my own experience. I really liked the idea of working closely with women and helping them through what is such a significant yet special time. Whilst posted in Cyprus I started a distance

skills and qualifications and research what else you’ll need to do to reach your goal. You’ll also need to consider how you’ll complete your studies around Service family life; perhaps a distance learning course is the only option if you move frequently. There’s a useful policy in place to support retention of Service Family Accommodation


Training can be costly and you’ll

need to commit a vast amount of time to any course you sign up for, so look out for grants or funding opportunities and make a plan to help ensure that you can complete your studies around any house moves, deployments and family commitments. I spoke to four spouses on different courses who are on the road to fulfilling their ambitions…

learning access to higher education course.

Ashley Woodhouse

How does it fit with Army life?


I started really well and managed to fit in study every day after I finished work. Progress halted six months in when we were posted back to the UK and my whole routine changed. Spending quality time with the children whilst they were home from boarding school meant I put my studies to the bottom of my priorities, so it took a further 11 months to finish the course.

Next steps:

I received offers from three universities near our next posting in Aldershot, so I’ll begin to study midwifery at the University of Surrey in September.

Top tip:

Distance learning is tough and requires organisation, motivation and dedication, yet with support it’s achievable – I’d recommend it to anyone.

30 Army&You spring 2019

if you are undertaking an adult educational course and your soldier has been short-toured. It’s important to note that the course must have been started in the realistic expectation that it would have been completed within your soldier’s original assignment period.

Course: Healthcare Assistant (HCA) NVQ Level 2/3

My dad was a guardsman and I met my soldier husband Scott in Catterick. We have four boys aged 11, five, three and two and my step-daughter who is 12.

Reason for choosing this course:

By accident! I was supposed to take up a paramedic apprentice scheme in Darlington when my husband received an unexpected promotion, which meant we had to up and leave for Dorset. Feeling disheartened I searched for lots of jobs throughout the NHS and the HCA role came up. I was lucky to get offered a place on the bank team at Poole hospital.

How does it fit with Army life?

I’m able to do a variety of shifts, which is why I chose to be on the bank for flexibility. In Bovington, we have

stability due to the nature of Scott’s job.

Next steps:

I will be a fully-trained HCA for our next posting where I’ll continue into university to train as either a paramedic or midwife. I’m still undecided on which field I want to go into, hence choosing a job where I can get a feel for everything.

Top tip:

Go for it. Focus on you – it’s a nice feeling after all these years doing something for myself.


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Army&You Spring 2019